Tired Of Healthy Brands and Blanding? FFUPs Makes A Case For Absurdly Literal Packaging
by Chloe Gordon on 07/13/2022 | 3 Minute Read
Branding and packaging can drastically change the perception of a product and even a category. And while branding and packaging can be impactful, some firms have moved away from making an impression in favor of "blanding,” an aesthetic pointed out by Bloomberg where creatives design a simplistic brand identity that feels contemporary but at the cost of any sense of authenticity or differentiation.
The somewhat soothing, no-frills trend was captivating when it first started to appear, but it ultimately created a monotonous world in the packaging design and branding world. Yet, where there are trend followers, there are also rule-breakers, and the brands that reject a homogenous approach can attract some noteworthy shelf-appeal.
And then there are FFUPS.
Available in five flavors, the deliciously unhealthy puff snacks have leaned into a personality filled with wit, irreverence, and pure charm. Day Job designed the branding and packaging for the intentionally strange packaging, and the result is a brand that operates in the realm of the absurd.
The entire branding project for FFUPs began by tapping into the puffs themselves. Day Job started the project by considering how consumers typically interact with a bag of tasty tubes and how the act of doing so is light, humorous, and entirely uncomplicated. They also didn't shy away from the fact that FFUPs isn't a healthy brand, stating directly on the front of the bag, "Not Healthy."
After establishing the brand's innate and unhealthy simplicity, Day Job worked to balance its deceptive plainness with a hefty dose of personality. The result is an effortless design system paired with entirely literal copywriting. "What we saw with FFUPs was that something really interesting happened when we put these extremely literal-minded taglines like "NOT HEALTHY" and "TASTY TUBES" into a really simple system," mentioned Rion Harmon, co-founder and creative director of Day Job. "FFUPs is a brand that has the confidence to run with copy that other brands wouldn't, and that kind of friendly, weird, absurd voice resonates with certain people."
In addition to each bag featuring an accessible tone of voice, every flavor gets packaged in a pastel-hued bag mirroring the taste, like the semi-Historic Sour Cream & Onion found in a pastel green pouch. "We wanted the colors to feel approachable and gender-neutral, the opposite of the sort of 'extreme' look of Doritos. That approachableness, the soft, friendly vibe, makes the blunt and eccentric copy all the more absurd," described Harmon.
Now, we've got approachable, quirky puff on the market, and nobody is looking back. With its irreverent design, Day Job manages to create something that's both distinctly transparent and loaded with character. And sure, "blanding" certainly works in some cases, but it also doesn't have to be the way. Paying attention to how a consumer interacts with a product, especially one as playful as puffs, can help direct a brand in a direction that is more than relatable and is comfortably familiar while also refreshingly unexplored.
- Photography: Noah Fecks